From Bad to Worse, pt 06
Thursday, August 17, 2006

The fighting is ended for now, though revenge is on more than one person's mind.


[ Kyle’s mom ]

Remember what the MPAA says; Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty woids!

[ / Kyle’s mom ]

- - - - -

pt 01,pt 02,pt 03,pt 04,pt 05

- - - - -

Jayne grabbed the man’s bloodied and useless hand in his own good one, squeezing relentlessly as he forced the air from his lungs with his massive knees. The scream that escaped the sergeant’s lips turned into a rushing exhale of air, followed by a slight gasp as no air was allowed back in. The massive weight of Jayne on his chest was causing immense strain on his organs and ribcage, his eyes bulging out of his skull due to lack of oxygen. As little black dots began to cloud his vision, he felt the instantaneous relief as his lungs automatically drew in breath when the weight was removed from his chest.

The side of the large mercenary’s wounded hand came down hard on the prone man’s throat, immediately bruising and dislocating the majority of the cartilage and muscles used to output sounds. The hand itself was mostly covered in blood, a large hole through the flesh and bone at the base of the thumb. Jayne then made a fist with the hand, slugging the man across the face with a left hook.

“Jayne, what the hell are you doing?”

“Just...” he brought his right elbow down hard into the sergeant’s stomach, causing him to reflexively curl into a fetal position, “teaching…” his right fist slammed into the man’s back and left kidney several times, resulting in an arching of his back against the pain, “him...” Jayne stood up, stretching out the other man’s leg before bringing his heavy booted foot down on his calf, easily snapping the bone there, “some...” using his good hand, he pounded on the man’s torso several times, crushing the man’s ribs and organs into the cold deck of the bridge, feeling several ribs crack as he did so, “manners...” Jayne balled his injured hand into a fist once more, throwing several punches across the man’s face, breaking his nose and knocking several teeth loose.

Zoe had climbed down from her vantage point, still covering the doorway to the bridge in case they had a straggler that decided to try to be a hero. She counted nine kills, with Jayne slowly working on a tenth. She knew there was no way the sergeant would survive Jayne’s assault, and frankly, she had no remorse for letting it continue. The idiot had made his choice, joining the Alliance forces as soon as he reached 18 most likely. She did feel a little sorry for the 18 year old version of this man, being duped by promises of a ‘better’ universe, everyone united under one oppressive, cabalistic ruling body. Watching him out of the corner of her eye, she gained a little more respect for Jayne, both for the fact that he was doing this to an Alliance officer and because he was doing such an impressive job with only his bare hands.

“Sir, I count ten down up here on the bridge.” Jayne held the man’s left arm straight, forcing his good hand into the elbow with enough force to turn the joint inside out. “Jayne’s injured, but not incapacitated.” Jayne stood again, stomping a heavy rhythm into the sergeant’s midsection and sternum. “What’s our next move, sir?” Jayne straddled the semi-conscious man, knees on either side of his chest, causing his erratic breathing to increase in intensity as he struggled to take in enough air to keep himself conscious. Jayne, clenching his hands into tight fists once more, proceeded to pummel the man’s bruised and bloodied face, unrelenting in his assault until the blows no longer caused even a twitch to travel the length of the limp and lifeless body.

“Good work Zoe. I want you to go to the cargo bay, keep an eye on the stash without appearing to do so. One of theirs was hit with a sonic rifle, trying to fix her up now, but you and I both know that Claire can’t be trusted not to double cross us, especially after turning the tables on her. Jayne, get down here and we’ll see to your injuries as best we can, though I must admit I am no top three percent doctor.” The light tone in his voice told them both that he had taken care of things on his end, though Zoe and Jayne were both concerned about the safety of their hidden treasure.

- - -

Book felt the hard banking as Wash changed trajectory once again, taking a roundabout path to return to pick up the rest of the crew while still managing to avoid the fed patrol ships that were no doubt on their tail. Kaylee had returned to the engine room, her happy disposition not sullied at all by his refusal to divulge the details of his past. Simon had escorted River back to their quarters, wanting her to rest after the morning of counting and wanting to get some rest himself for whatever was in store for them next. Having the Alliance so close on their trail was a bit unnerving, and he was sure that Mal or Jayne or both of them would come back with a new hole or two for him to patch up.

Focused inwardly as he stood a vigil beside the cargo bay controls, Book didn’t notice Inara until she was almost beside him. He bowed his head slightly to him as she approached, a semi-casual robe covering her lithe form.

“Good morning Shepherd, I hope that all is going well with the job?”

“Well, I, er, that is to say, uh, yes, it is going as well as it can be at the moment, I suppose.” Book had been attempting to contain his inner turmoil at the life of crime he was still adjusting to, and the fact that he was still nervous about it even when talking to the open-minded Companion told him that his convictions might be stronger than he had believed them to be. “How about your morning?”

“Boring and routine clientele pruning. Downloading the latest news from the Core, looking for any business that might be available out here, though it is usually pretty rare and they can be a bit sub-par.”

Book smiled at her, thinking back to a time long ago when he might have patronized fancy women like Inara Serra. Kaylee had brought thoughts and memories to the surface that he hadn’t dealt with in a long time, and thinking about them brought a palpable sadness to his features.

“Penny for your thoughts, Shepherd?”

“Oh, just worried about the eternal salvation of the souls of everyone on this ship, same as usual.”

Inara smiled, knowing Book’s explanation to be an outright lie but not wanting to push the issue or cause more tension while everyone was already stressed enough. She excused herself to return to her shuttle, and he became engrossed in thoughts of the distant past once more.

- - -

Wash stared at the display as he routed himself toward the wreckage where he had left the rest of the crew, not quite believing what he was seeing. The four other Alliance ships had split off into two pairs, each heading in a different direction away from the pulse beacon and thankfully away from the action he was returning to. That part was completely believable, as simple tricks always seemed to confuse the niao shi de dugui. The unbelievable part was the speed of the ship that was approaching him as he circled his destination, continuing the attempt to throw off any pursuers. He was now roughly in-between the Alliance base and the wrecked ship, and it appeared that this new ship was headed from one to the other. The ship moved faster than anything he had ever seen or flown, and even if he turned right now and headed directly to his destination, the other ship would beat him there with no problem.

He also knew that the ship had most likely noticed Serenity on their radar, and he prepared his mind for evasion. Whether it would be this ship or another one they called, the job had definitely taken another wrong turn down an already rough path. Hoping that the little ship wasn’t armed, he banked hard to the right to follow in the path of the faster craft. He pulled the ship’s comm. down, thinking he might be able to pre-empt an engagement.

“Mal, Mal do you read me?”

“You’re ... in and ... Wash, must ... some ... ... interference. ... channel 4.”

Switching the channel, Wash tried once more. “Mal, there is another ship headed your way, moving faster than anything I have even seen. Looks like more trouble to me. I am headed that way as well, though it would probably be best if you guys can get that other bird up and moving.”

“Well, ain’t that just shiny. You keep comin’ this way, we’ll see what we can do about gettin’ airborne.”

Wash replaced the comm., flipping three switches above his head to try and engage a little power boost that might get them back to the rest of the crew before anything else went awry.

- - -

Zoe had taken a perch on the catwalk above the door leading to the infirmary, alertly but casually leaning on the railing so that she could see both the door below and the cargo bay door, still open from the feds’ entry. Zoe had worried that they might send in more people, but Jayne had taken the sergeant’s comm. with him to give to Mal, and hopefully the pilots of the patrol boats would be neutralized soon.

Mal stood outside the infirmary in the common area with Claire and Amos. Tom had seen to Anya, monitoring her vitals as her body recovered from the sonic blast, then helped Jayne get a wrap on his wounded hand to stop the bleeding and prevent infection as best as they could with the rudimentary supplies. Bringing the comm. out of a pocket, he made his attempt to finish getting them out of the situation.

“This is Sergeant Wilkins, we need MedEvac down here. Bring both patrol ships down and come in and help us carry these guys out of here. Over.” Mal was thankful to whatever anal retentive bureaucrat it was who decided to inscribe officers’ names on their issued equipment.

“Roger that Wilkins. What about the Browncoat scum?”

Mal bit back a scathing insult, not wanting to jeopardize in any way their slim chance at getting this to work. “All dead or dying, we are searching for the stolen property now.”

“Is the target restrained? To what extent is she injured?”

Mal froze at this question. Logically, there was only one person they could really be talking about, who he now turned to face. The common area being small, she had heard the entire conversation up to this point. When he looked at her, he noticed a slight blush, and she wouldn’t meet his gaze. Upon clearing his throat, she nodded her head, reminding him to respond to the pilot.

“Yes, she’s here, only some minor injuries. Fought like a devil cat, but in the end we overcame.”

“Good to hear, the Lieutenant and the Commander will also be glad to hear of this. He’s on his way now, and Lieutenant is still off chasing the other lese junker that fled the scene. We’ll be landed and inside in a few. Over.”

Mal turned to Claire, making sure the comm. was turned off. “Now, who do you suppose he was talkin’ ‘bout when he mentioned ‘the target’?”

She brought her face up to look at his, her green eyes aflame. “Do you remember what my duties were towards the end of the war?”

“I seem to ‘member you really liking your job, and that you weren’t allowed to talk about it. Word among the troops was that you special ops folks were workin’ some fed officers over pretty hard.”

“Yeah. It was torture, plain and simple. We were pretty ruthless too, though none of us felt bad for it at the time. Hell, I still don’t. Those tama de hundan deserved everything we did to them and more. Anyhow, the person I suspect is behind this is one who I never got to finish working on, due to some very motivated Alliance commandos. My partner and I escaped with our lives, but they were able to retrieve the man we had in captivity. Ryan Harley. It sounds like he is a Commander now, which doesn’t surprise me. Very ambitious man, that one. Dangerous too, at least he can be. Ordered the gassing and other cruel deaths of hundreds of our Browncoat brethren.”

“Right, well as much as I’d love to stay here and reminisce with you about this guy, I have an ambush to pull off.” Mal turned to head up the stairs to the cargo bay when he felt her strong grip on his upper arm.

“Mal, you look me in the eye and tell me you don’t miss what we had.”

Completely taken aback, the look of shock on his face was only momentarily displayed before the stoic mask replaced it. “Claire, you know I’m not one to talk about things in the past. You’d do well the do the same.” He shrugged off her grip, hurrying up the stairs to inform his first mate of the plan. Claire stared after him, lost in thought for a moment, then headed for the infirmary to check on her mechanic.

- - -

“Commander, our men have the target in custody. We are currently moving the ships to perform a MedEvac on our wounded. We will wait here for your arrival, assuming the men are not too critically injured.”

“Good, see that you do. Any word from Lieutenant Graham?”

“No sir. Alec, er, I mean , the Lieutenant still hasn’t checked in, and the last any of us saw of him was when he flew off in pursuit of the scum that are trying to get away. I am confident that he will catch up to them and report in soon.”

“I guess I will have to accept that, for now. Stay vigilant and make sure the target is ready for my reclamation. Thank you for your report, Private.”

Cutting off the comm., the pilot landed his ship next to the other one outside the Firefly-class transport, seeing the other pilot awaiting him at the outer door that would take them into the cargo bay.

- - -

Mal and Zoe took up positions on the catwalks, Mal being directly over the entrance and Zoe on the opposite side covering him. He heard heavy footsteps coming up through the airlock, accompanied by loud talking and laughter. These morons really had no clue about combat situations, trusting the word of a superior officer as if it were divine law passed down by the god of all the heavens himself.

The men entered the cargo bay, looking around casually for their compatriots. As one opened his mouth to call for the men he was looking for, two gunshots rang out almost simultaneously. Both men slumped forward, blood leaking out from two perfectly precise holes through the backs of their heads.

Mal and Zoe climbed down quickly as Jayne came back up from the infirmary, hand covered tightly in a clean bandage. “Awww Mal, you didn’t leave one for me?”

Mal shot his mercenary a quick grin, then returned to his task. He and Zoe lifted one lifeless body, carrying it behind a large stack of heavy crates. After moving the other body, he turned to address them both.

“We need to get moving, there are more reinforcements on the way. You guys get the bags out of the hiding place, I will go gather our newly made acquaintances.”

Mal headed back down the stairs, seeing Anya getting herself down from the infirmary table. Claire stood talking to Amos as Tom was returning from the passenger rooms, presumably checking on the captive crew member.

“We need to get out of here now. How attached are you to this new ship of yours?”

“No enough to be captured for it. We are just as ready to go as you are.”

Mal turned to lead them up the stairs to the cargo bay, oblivious to the scowl on Claire’s face. He walked over to where Zoe was struggling with the second bag, which was snagged on a rough edge inside the secret compartment. Jayne had already taken the first one outside, loading it into one of the now empty patrol ships. Claire emerged from the doorway, Tom and Amos directly behind her with their guns out, covering Mal and Zoe once more. A single shot rang out, causing Mal to turn around. He saw the smoke drifting away from the end of Claire’s pistol just as his brain registered the stinging pain of a bullet wound.

“Claire, you shot me! You shot me in the ass!”

- - - - -

pt 07

- - - - -

Translations ( from ):

niao shi de dugui (niao se duh DOO-gway) – piss soaked pikers

lese (luh-suh) – garbage

tama de hundans (tah mah duh hwoon dahns) – mother fucking sons of bitches


Thursday, August 17, 2006 6:16 AM


Jayne needs to let loose once in a while. I loved the 'teaching him manners' paragraph! Then had to laugh at JAYNE teaching MANNERS to anyone!

Really loved Book's conversation with Inara. You get him down real well.

Ahh, he turned his back on Claire. . . stupid, stupid Mal!

Thursday, August 17, 2006 8:41 AM


*sing song voice* Mal got shot in the bu-utt *giggle*

How cool is that. See I knew that he would (given our shared guidelines of the fic) but I wasn't expecting it at that moment. Sweet!!!!

I had a hard time actually reading the Jayne beating someone to death, way to brutal for my mental images to process. I laughed pretty hard at the manners thing too though. SOOO funny.

It's really great how you're layering in tidbits and glimpses into Book's past. It's really intresting, and you're doing it in a way that's remaining completely true to character.

Can't wait for part 7!!!!

Saturday, August 19, 2006 12:42 PM


First off, lol @ Kyle's mom. Good one, and apt for this fic.

Excellent description of Jayne's pummeling of the fed into the "cold deck", each word was well and vividly written, so much so that I had trouble reading it, which speaks highly for the skill you have for this. You always bring us the best violence...

Zoe covering the area "in case they had a straggler that decided to try to be a hero."-- great tie-in to the BDM, always like seeing those. I liked Zoe not having sympathy for the dying fed in jayne's grip, but also liked her sympathy for the guy's 18 year old past self. I didn't have sufficient dislike for the hapless man, though, to enjoy watching him die in such a slow and horrible manner by the hands of one of my favorite BDH's. If he'd been a real baddie I could get behind it better, but that's just me. And I know, I know: Jayne ain't a tame housecat and he DOES enjoy the killin'. No doubt about it, he could and would do it just this way, shot-up hand delivering the blows without even feeling the pain. You did good on the scene.

Excellent change of scene with this bit: "Book felt the hard banking as Wash changed trajectory once again,.." Nice literary work.

Love this inara line: “Boring and routine clientele pruning." Clever of you, and in character for her.

Liked Book's ruminations, and figure he mighta been pondering his own soul still needing saving, based on his prior thoughts in the scene.

"Zoe..alertly but casually leaning on the railing.." This is exactly how she comports herself, River. Dead on and I was glad to see her portrayed so.

"Mal was thankful to whatever anal retentive bureaucrat it was who decided to inscribe officers’ names on their issued equipment." Clever of Mal to use the guy's name, and I like his thoughts of gratitude for fed rules.

Great job on Mal's response to "browncoat scum", biting back a damaging retort. Also great job on Mal replying about Claire while the devil-cat is standing right there glaring at him out of "green eyes aflame." Nice!

Liked, too, Mal's brushing her off. Sets him up for the butt-shot at the end of the story.

Good take on Mal's reaction to standard fed policy: "These morons really had no clue about combat situations, trusting the word of a superior officer as if it were divine law passed down by the god of all the heavens himself."

LOL @ Jayne wanting some more action, though his head and gorram hand are freshly bandaged. Yeah, he would defintely still be raring to go. And I could very well see Mal's grin of understanding directed toward Jayne. Nice work.

River, there is a shortage of perfect arses in the world, it was a shame for you to damage Mal's. But I forgive you for it, since this whole gorram story is so well done. Gonna have another part published before I see you at D*C in around 12 days?

Sunday, August 20, 2006 12:54 PM


Having an Austin Powers moment here? Cuz Mal's "You shot me! You shot me in the ass!" is almost pitch perfect for Mustafa's "You shot me! You me in the arm!" schtick from Austin Powers 1;)

And I too could totally see Jayne just ignoring the hole in his hand and just wailing on the Alliance sergeant with great relish:D



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From Bad to Worse, chapters 1-10 (COMPLETE)
This is a re-post from before the BSR got hit a few weeks ago.

The story takes place in between ‘The Train Job’ and ‘Bushwhacked.’ According to Inara, there is a three-ish month gap here, so I thought it would be perfect for this little story and its epilogue.

From Bad to Worse, pt 10
Thrilling heroics ensue.

From Bad to Worse, pt 09
Mal, Zoe, and Jayne come to the rescue, and backup from the engine room arrives.

From Bad to Worse, pt 08
Claire is put to the ropes, though the cavalry is on the way.

From Bad to Worse, pt 07
Mal, Jayne, and Zoe make their way back to Serenity, and Claire and her posse run into even more troubles.

From Bad to Worse, pt 06
The fighting is ended for now, though revenge is on more than one person's mind.

From Bad to Worse, pt 05
The feds arrive, a shootout involving the BDHs and Claire's posse ensues.

From Bad to Worse, pt 04
The gold is recovered, and a getaway is planned.

Sailing Beyond the Sunset, pt 17
Several crew members dwell on things past while one reunion is made and a wave from an old aquaintence is received.

From Bad to Worse, pt 03
The crews search the wreckage for their valuable treasure as Wash and Book attempt some thrilling heriocs.